–> Details of the church location, time, call-in number are at the bottom of this post. <–
**Also, for those in Daylight Savings land, here’s a reminder to turn your clocks back 1 hour tonight!**
[From tomorrow’s First Reader: some thoughts on the week’s Lesson-Sermon]
I love this week’s Bible Lesson. The subject sounds a little intimidating [Everlasting Punishment], but I’ve come to realize that its purpose is to explicitly set us straight on the topic of sin. This is quite an important topic among Christians, and raises several questions. If we sin, do we go to “hell” for eternity? Did God create us as sinners? Are we to expect punishment for sin to be everlasting???
I find great comfort in knowing that God does not punish us for our sins, but rather removes our sins from us, because we are not sinners in the first place. This week’s lesson really helps me see that.
So what about sin then, practically speaking? Can we just do whatever we want and get away with it? As Mary Baker Eddy says in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures on page 497:11, “…the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.” In other words, sin is just a belief. If we think and act according to sinful beliefs, that will punish itself through the suffering that sinful thoughts and actions bring. However, sin has nothing to do with God, and God certainly did not create sin. Most importantly, God did not create us as sinners! Here is a passage from this week’s lesson that illustrates this beautifully:
Psalms 103 (New King James Version)
“6. The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
10. He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11. For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12. As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
17. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him.”
Now comes the question, what if we find ourselves entrenched in sinful beliefs and suffering the consequences? Mary Baker Eddy says, encouragingly, “If you believe in and practice wrong knowingly, you can at once change your course and do right.” (Science and Health, 253:18-19)
As soon as we change course, sin is destroyed and that’s the end of it. We then enter the consciousness of (become aware of) heaven on earth, our eternal home.
Laurie and JP Church
Details about tomorrow’s service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am – 11:35am-ish, EDT
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure love.